In an effort to control gambling and the threat it poses to the society, the governments of Uganda and Kenya have taken steps to intensify regulatory policies on the betting industry.

Over time, the rising number of young gamblers in Africa has continued to be a major source of concern. Recent research shows that the youth population (ages 17 – 35) in countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa spend a whopping $50 monthly on betting through their mobile phones.

Kenya has the highest betting participation compared to other African countries, with 79 percent of Kenyan youth estimated to be placing bets on football matches. For many, this addiction has resulted in debt, particularly for those that are unemployed. About 500,000 Kenyan youth have reportedly been blacklisted by various online lending companies after they borrowed money to bet and gamble. In effect, Kenya has become a hub for betting and gambling where the industry generated $1.9 billion in revenue for the government.

The menace of gambling is blamed on the loose betting, licensing and control policies which have encouraged the birth of over 50 local and foreign companies in the past four years alone. Although governments had previously taken measures to curb this practice by restricting the importation of gaming devices, impounding and burning gambling machines, the numbers keep increasing. The high tax rates on the industry have not yielded many results either. These governments have thus taken further steps that will stiffen operations in the betting and gaming industries and cut their numbers, and ultimately slow down the growing gambling rate among youth.

In Kenya, licences for all betting agencies stand suspended effective from July 1. Their renewal will be subject to proof that the companies are tax compliant. The government hopes that imposing a compulsory tax on the sector will force many agencies to shut down.

Meanwhile, Uganda has ordered that licensing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies should stop. No new companies are going to be licensed and for those which are already registered, there is no renewal of licences when they expire.

While these measures are commendable, there are other contributing factors that need to be addressed. The betting population largely constitutes of unemployed youths who gamble as a means of survival. Stiffening gambling laws could push this active population to seek out ways that best suit them, these include accessing illegal or foreign sites. Other than addressing the industry, governments should also look into job creation and youth empowerment.

Source Ventures Africa

Kenya: NGO to engage youth in fight against terror


A programme aimed at engaging the youth and counter violence extremism has been launched.

The programme, titled Amka, will cover 10 coastal and northeastern counties.

Nairobi-based Youth, Arts, Development and Entrepreneurship Network (YADEN) is the brains behind Amka.

Its director, Sammy Gathii, said youths are the most vulnerable group and are often ignored by both the county and national governments in major decision making.

“This is a very dangerous way of addressing violence extremism. If we fail to engage the youth then the whole purpose of fighting terrorism could be lost,” Gathii said.

Amka is aimed at engaging the youth to rise and take up the responsibility of countering terror. It also aims at creating partnership between national, county and community youth projects.

The objective is to bring on board youth at the grassroots in preventing terrorism information and knowledge, package it into viable resource and link to inform higher level of state and non-state interventions.

The director said idle youth can easily be lured to criminal activities including terrorism.

“Youth are the majority in this country and have different talents that can be exploited for their benefit but if they are left on their own they can be a security threat. We are, therefore, launching this programme so they are engaged in meaningful life-changing programmes.”

He added, “We also want to ensure that the gap between the youth and government, both at county and national level, is bridged. Youth should be told the opportunities that are available for them so that they exploit them.”

The launch was attended by senior officials from county and national government who promised to support the initiative.

The counties to be covered are Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Nairobi and Mombasa.

Garissa deputy county secretary Abdirashid Mohamed said the county will partner with the national government and start mapping areas where youth have crossed the border to ensure they are monitored closely.

“We are welcoming all partners involved in the fight against terror in Garissa because we are among the counties that have borne the brunt of terror attacks perpetuated by al Shabaab,” he said.

Ijara, Hulugho, Dadaab and Fafi subcounties are the most affected, the deputy secretary said.

The county will soon commission a team to ascertain the number of youths missing as well as engage religious leaders and community elders to ensure every household accounts for people who have left their homes.

“This mapping exercise will help us to know if our missing youth are with bad elements. It is at this point that we will chart the way forward,” he said.

Source The Star


More than two million young Africans across 37 countries were engaged with digital and coding skills at the Africa Code Week (ACW) 2018. This exceeded all expectations when compared to 1.3 million youth that participated in the previous edition.

From an initial focus of introducing coding skills to African youth and raising awareness of the importance of digital education, ACW key partners focused and augmented efforts in 2018 to sustain the impact of the programme through capacity-building with governments, schools and NPOs. As a result, close to 23,000 teachers were trained on the ACW digital learning curriculum in the run-up to October 2018 events.

The resounding success of Africa Code Week is an unveiling of what the young generation actually needs and rightfully expects, Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa said, adding that “young people in Africa don’t just need opportunities: they need to know how to take the first steps to get there. They need role models and guidance.”

Morocco, which has been leveraging Africa Code Week to accelerate nationwide ICT capacity building since its inception, stood out at the latest edition with a record of 5,208 teachers trained throughout the year 2018. It is followed by Tunisia and Nigeria, with 2,800 and 2,553 teachers respectively.

Africa is way behind in terms of advanced technology, having missed the opportunities of previous industrial revolutions. To bridge this gap with the rest of the world, among other things, there is a need to empower the young generation with necessary digital skills. The continent cannot afford to miss the possibilities of the fourth industrial revolution largely characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical and digital spheres.

“There is only one way to bring the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the young generation: through a reference point, and that reference point is the teacher,” says Davide Storti, YouthMobile Initiative Coordinator at UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division. “We look forward to furthering dialogue with governments, so we can translate the powerful partnerships and networking built by and around Africa Code Week into long-term programmes that sustain the excitement around 21st-century learning.”

According to Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP, fostering powerful partnerships with a sharp focus on capacity building is one of Africa Code Week’s strengths.“This fourth edition saw unprecedented collaboration from our public and private sector stakeholders, as well as from NGOs, to train more teachers and reach more young people than ever before,” she said.

Africa Code Week is an initiative that involves hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, and nonprofits getting together to bridge the digital and gender skills gap in Africa. The goal of Africa Code Week is to empower the young generation by teaching the coding skills they need in order to thrive in the 21st century.

Launched in 2015 by SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA department, ACW is an award-winning initiative taking place every year in the month of October. It is now actively supported by key partners UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

Source www.venturesafrica.com

The US Embassy in Ethiopia is Set to Train 600 Youths on Creating Solutions in Their Communities

Ethiopia Hacks! just launched the first in a series of 12 hackathons as part of its annual Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration. It is a programme organised by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, in partnership with the Google Developers Group (GDG- Addis) and the Centre for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE)

The event which held at the American Centre in Addis Ababa focused on entrepreneurship. It would ensure participants will explore how technology can be used to support innovation and Job creation.

Each of these hackathons will challenge young tech developers to identify prototype solutions to challenges in Ethiopia as the program will invest in the capacity of 600 tech-savvy youth, who will be opportune to participate and generate solutions for their communities.

Thanks to the effort of current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia, ranked as the fifth poorest country in the world Ethiopia, is high atop a mountain of several challenges needing all human and capital resources to create a more comfortable environment in Ethiopia.

Landlocked Ethiopia’s foremost challenge is drought coupled with the fact that a more significant percentage of the country’s population are farmers. This ensures citizens live in poverty with 23.5 % of the population estimated to live in poverty.

After its peace treaty with Eritrea, Ethiopia has embarked on a lifetime Journey towards rebuilding its state. U.S embassy would be supporting Ethiopia by developing an eco-system that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and technology by investing in Ethiopians to shape the future of their country.

“…as Ethiopia embarks on the hard work of building its brighter future, there will be challenges. However, as this competition shows, challenges exist to be solved, and the challenges Ethiopia faces will be solved first and foremost by Ethiopians,” U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor noted.

The annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which held between November 12-18, 2018, is designed to celebrate self-starting innovators and connect entrepreneurs to potential collaborators, mentors, and investors.

Global Entrepreneurship Week has fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship globally with millions of participants at thousands of events in nearly 170 countries.

Source – Ventures African